Greetings readers, today I want to share a short but meaningful article written by Emily Esfahani Smith.
Being happy is the goal in life, isn’t it? Isn’t that what we all aim for? For most people it looks something like this: good grades, popularity at school, good education, great job, ideal life partner, beautiful home, money for great vacations.
Yet, many people have achieved exactly this and still feel empty and unfulfilled.
Is there something wrong with expecting happiness to result from success in life? Clearly it’s not working.
The suicide rate is rising around the world, and even though life is getting objectively better by nearly every conceivable standard, more people feel hopeless, depressed and alone.
Is there more to life than trying to be happy?
Writer Emily Esfahani Smith thinks so.
In her search she found out that it’s not a lack of happiness that leads to despair. It’s a lack of having meaning in life.
What is the difference between being happy and having meaning in life?
“Many psychologists define happiness as a state of comfort and ease, feeling good in the moment. Meaning, though, is deeper. The renowned psychologist Martin Seligman says meaning comes from belonging to and serving something beyond yourself and from developing the best within you,” says smith.
“Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but I came to see that seeking meaning is the more fulfilling path. And the studies show that people who have meaning in life, they’re more resilient, they do better in school and at work, and they even live longer,” she adds.
Her five-year study led her to the discovery of four pillars than underpin a meaningful life. The first three I might have guessed, but the last one caught me off guard. And it’s really a crucial aspect of the meaning we give to our lives.
“The first pillar is belonging. Belonging comes from being in relationships where you’re valued for who you are intrinsically and where you value others as well,” says Smith.
But she warns that not all belonging is desired belonging. “Some groups and relationships deliver a cheap form of belonging; you’re valued for what you believe, for who you hate, not for who you are.” This is not true belonging.
For many people, belonging is the most essential source of meaning. Their bonds with family and friends gives real meaning to their lives.
The second pillar or key to meaning is purpose, says Smith, and it’s not the same thing as finding that job that makes you happy.
The key to purpose says Smith is using your strengths to serve others. For many people that happens through work and when they find themselves unemployed, they flounder.
The third pillar of meaning is transcendence. Transcendent states are those rare moments when you lose all sense of time and place and you feel connected to a higher reality.
“For one person I talked to, transcendence came from seeing art. For another person, it was at church. For me, I’m a writer, and it happens through writing. Sometimes I get so in the zone that I lose all sense of time and place. These transcendent experiences can change you.”
So we have belonging, purpose and transcendence.
Now, the fourth pillar of meaning is a surprising one.
The fourth pillar is storytelling, the story you tell yourself about yourself.
“Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity. It helps you understand how you became you.
“But we don’t always realize that we’re the authors of our stories and can change the way we’re telling them. Your life isn’t just a list of events. You can edit, interpret and retell your story, even as you’re constrained by the facts.”
This is so true. It boils down to perspective and that can make all the difference: the difference between a miserable life plagued with misfortune or an inspirational life filled with gratitude and insight.
No matter what has happened in your life to break you, you can heal again and find new purpose in life like so many people who have allowed the bad in their lives to be redeemed by the good.
So often life can get too busy and you have lots of things on your mind.
Try to make a new routine and start your morning half an hour earlier by taking a walk, reading a book, say your morning prayer, meditate or write a story. It’s so good for your mental health.
It’s essential to get a good nights rest if you want to wake up earlier. Just try it for yourself, it’s an uplifting experience that might stick for the rest of your life.
Life is precious, we saw it during these past 8 months with COVID-19. Live your life one second at a time, make the best of your day by blessing someone today even if it’s just with a smile on your morning walk, or giving a homeless a bag of groceries.
Anything good is better than Nothing.
I took a morning walk today with my family before school and work, we all felt refreshed and ready for our new day.
Stay safe and enjoy your life.
Founder of the Ladies Enrichment Club Worldwide
PS. Tracy Kennedy shared and interesting article on her website
Ladies, Changing Your State of Thought! -Hold positive dialogue with yourself.
During an average day you spend perhaps 100 minutes talking with someone else. If you speak at about the average speed, you say between 10,000 and 20,000 words in a typical day. That may sound a lot, but these 10-20,000 words are only a small fraction of your internal dialogue.
Speech is, as we have already observed, just thoughts expressed in language. But most of your thoughts are never spoken to someone else. You speak them only to yourself. Most of your thinking is directed solely at yourself. It is what “I” says to “Me” that counts. It is not what the person at the next desk, or the customer, or the boss says to you that counts most.
The really important thing is what you’re “I” says to “Me.” The point that needs to be reinforced here is that When you dialogue with yourself, you should always use strong, positive language. Think only why you can and not why you can’t.
-Think “I am going to succeed – not fail.”
When you think you will succeed, your mind begins to find the solution for success.
-Think “I am a winner” not “I am a loser.”
The Mohammed Ali philosophy. Ali, over a long period of time, told himself that he was the greatest until at least he had convinced himself, and that in the final analysis is the only person that you will ever have to convince. Other people are automatically convinced you are great after you have convinced yourself.
-Analysing Your Internal Voice
As we have seen, it is essential that you become aware of your internal dialogue. Every person will have an internal voice. For some it will be loud and insistent, for others it will be barely audible. Try to identify the following:
The direction your “internal voice” comes from
What sort of voice tone it uses
Is it a pleasure to listen to?
Whose voice is it? You’re own?
If it belongs to someone else, did you give them permission to come into your mind? A nagging, blaming voice tone from the outside is stressful – and so is one from the inside. Does your internal voice make comparisons? Comparisons are shown by words such as:
Better or best
Worse or worst
More or less
Identify whether or not you have any demotivating, unrealistic comparisons in your mind. When you hear yourself making a comparison of:
“How You Did (Behaviour)” or “The Sort Of Person You Are (Identity)” make sure you know the basis for this comparison. For Example:
The best question to ask is:
“I did badly.” “Compared to what?”
Your best? Your ideal? An expert? Unrealistic comparisons are depressing, but first you have to know they are unrealistic.
The above article was partly taken out of one of my NLP studies. I had to share it with you, hope you have taken some positive notes from the blog.
It’s been a very busy few weeks for me, especially trying my best to make the Affiliate program on the LEC International website a success. Wow, I never thought it will take so many hours but I’m praying that all things work out for the best.
Through all of this crazy days, it’s good to remember things that matter in your life like God, Family, Health and also not to forget to take care of your neighbour, meaning take care of the ones that needs help and support during these times.
Sometimes we can really get hooked up in our own little world. Stop. Think. Plan. Start.
Start today by being the best human being you can be and give a helping hand in and around your house. By doing this,you will feel enriched like never before!
Now,let me go give my kids a hug and call my husband to tell him I love him. Thank God Jesus for my Blessings.